Advent 2012: Setting Captives Free
…from sadness to happiness
Lucy greeted Jim with a hug as soon as he walked in the door.
“Where have you been hiding?” she asked. “You look like death warmed over!”
“Rough night, Lucy,” Jim answered without making eye contact.
“Well, we’ll get you fixed up,” Lucy said. “Sit where you like, Joe will be with you in a moment with your coffee.”
Jim was a regular at Lucy’s Diner. He liked the food and the staff. They always made him feel welcomed.
“Jimmy, my man. Long time, no see,” Joe shouted as he placed a cup of hot coffee in front of him.
“Not so loud, Joe, I’ve got a bad headache,” Jim said.
“I should say. You look awful. Out partying last night?” Joe asked.
“Hardly. Got into another fight with the wife. Then had a bit too much to drink I suppose. I’ll have the bacon and eggs, over easy.”
“Sorry about that, Jimmy. You want toast or hashbrowns?”
“Toast. Yeah, I think it might be over this time. She’s been using the d-word a lot more lately.”
“Oh man, that sucks,” Joe answered. “Listen, I’m getting off in an hour. If you’re still here, I’d love to talk some more.”
“Thanks, Joe, but I’m gonna have to run as soon as I eat. Mom’s in the hospital.”
“What happened?” Joe asked.
“I’m not exactly sure,” Jim said. “But I really do appreciate your offer to talk.” Jim’s voice cracked with emotion.
“Listen, Jimmy. I’ve been right where you are, too much drinking and a painful divorce. But God saved me, man. He saved me from my self and my addiction,” Joe said with a big gummy smile on his face. “If he can help me, I know he can help you.”
“I don’t know, Joe. I’m a pretty hopeless case. I’ve got things in my past nobody knows about. Damaged goods, as they say,” Jim said looking into his coffee.
“Well, we are definitely going to talk then,” assured Joe. “Because I’m here to tell you, ain’t nobody any lower than I was.” Joe let out a big laugh and patted Jim on his shoulder. Jimmy smiled and sipped his coffee.
But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful. Psalm 68:3
Advent Application: Nothing makes a person happier than experiencing recovery from life’s hurts, habits and hang-ups. When a person finds freedom from their chains of addictions, they become contagious carriers of happiness. Joe lived his life out loud. He eagerly shared his life story with others because he was so thankful for his freedom from his addiction. The 12th step states, “Having had a spiritual experience as a result of these steps, we try to carry this message to others and to practice these principles in all our affairs.”
2000 years ago, a King was born. But unlike today, when the royal family gives birth to an heir to the throne, with all the pomp and ceremony, not to mention, increased security at the best hospital in the kingdom; King Jesus was born in a stable, open to animals and lowly shepherds. Read their story in Luke 2. “So they (shepherds) hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in a manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about his child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.”
Good news makes us happy and that happiness becomes contagious when we “spread the word.”
To read this story from the beginning, click here.